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The ICC World Cricket League Division 1 tournament began in Netherlands with Ireland aiming to defend their title, but Afghanistan sensing another trophy.
Scotland prevailed in a nerve-wracking contest against hosts Netherlands, winning off the penultimate ball with one wicket in hand in Amstelveen. Their chase of 235 had been dealt a serious blow when the first six wickets fell for 121, but the lower order set about pulling things back.
Afghanistan put in an admirable batting display to overcome a challenging target of 258 set by Canada in Voorburg. Captain Nawroz Mangal led the charge with an unbeaten 70, off just 58 balls, and the innings was also supported by half-centuries from opener Noor Ali and Mohammad Shahzad. Noor and Shahzad were involved in a 87-run stand, though both fell in quick succession. Afghanistan recovered quickly from those jolts, thanks to an attacking knock from their captain, who ensured victory was achieved with eight balls to spare.
A collective bowling effort and a solid opening performance from Paul Stirling kicked off defending champions Ireland's campaign on a successful note against Kenya in Rotterdam.
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Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.